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Deviating from the Standard: Integrating Statistical Analysis and Experimental Design into Life Science Education


Planned Publications!

One of our HHMI graduate students, Aakanksha Angra, attended a CourseSource workshop in July. She attended training to learn about this online peer-reviewed publication resource intended for life-science educators. CourseSource is different from other publications because it has more stringent requirements in areas such as background, assessment, and post-teaching revisions.

We anticipate two articles will be published by the end of this calendar year and additional two by the end of the academic year.

See summaries here.

New Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences to begin next year!

The Purdue HHMI Undergraduate Science Education Award is in the process of developing three new lab experiences for first-year students that incorporate authentic research experiences.

  1. BCHM 100's (Introduction to Biochemistry) accompanying laboratory course
    • Targeted Population: First-year students in exploratory majors
    • This laboratory course will offer a "leader" Biochemistry laboratory course, for students considering a STEM major, that teaches fundamental principles of protein structure and function through real-world research experiences.
  2. Analysis of Genomic Information
    • Targeted Population: First- and second-year students interested in genomics
    • Genomics is one of the most exciting and powerful technologies in use today, and most students are familiar with the concept through their high school courses, television, and movies. This course will expose students to statistical and computational analyses in a relevant biological context. In addition, will uncover a broad range of molecular biological and cutting edge genomic approaches to students.
  3. Ecology of Infectious Diseases
    • Targeted Population: First-year Biology majors
    • Disease ecology is a growing field investigating the causes and effects of pathogen transmission and epidemics, primarily in non-human systems. This course will provide students with research experience in disease ecology while fulfilling the requirements of the first-year Biology requirement. Disease ecology also incorporates multiple fields of biology (microbiology, ecology, genetics, biogeography, epidemiology, and medicine), thus being relevant to students interested in a range of biological topics.

Congratulations to Peter Mercado-Reyes

Peter was selected to represent Purdue University to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) funded EXROP (Exceptional Research Opportunities) program. EXROP is a prestigious program initiated in 2003, which links the resources of HHMI's Science and Grants programs to provide selected undergraduate students with outstanding summer research experiences that encourage them to pursue careers in academic science.

EXROP students also attend meetings at HHMI headquarters where they present their research in a poster session, network with their peers and HHMI scientists, and hear from scientists from various backgrounds and stages in their careers.

Students are nominated for the program by HHMI professors and directors of HHMI-funded undergraduate programs at colleges and universities. EXROP then matches the students with HHMI scientists who have volunteered to provide mentored research experiences. Peter, biochemistry major, was nominated by Dr. James Forney and will be working in the lab of Dr. Eric Kandel at Columbia University. The project he will be working on focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Read about Peter's summer experience here

Congratulations to Professor Stephanie Gardner

Dr. Gardner recently received a 2013-14 Teaching for Tomorrow Fellowship Award. The Teaching for Tomorrow Fellowship Awards Program is awarded annually and fosters continued excellence in teaching and learning at Purdue.

The intended outcomes of this enrichment program are: Purdue students will benefit from improved learning environments; faculty will enhance their teaching through the use of a broader repertoire that matches learner needs; participants will develop a network of faculty committed to quality instruction; participants will form a strong nucleus for enhancing undergraduate teaching at Purdue; academic departments will receive increased input on their teaching programs.

Dr. Gardner, who previously received the 2012 College of Science Outstanding Teacher Award, is the director of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience for our grant.

STEMEdHub is now live.

We are live on STEMEdHub! Please visit ( to check out some of our developed modules, see how they can be accessed, and if desired, download and use the modules.

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